The 2022 Acura Integra is an essential vehicle for the Japanese premium automaker. More than about reviving an iconic nameplate associated with nifty handling and high-revving four-cylinder VTEC engines, the incoming Integra will cement Acura’s reputation in the sport-luxury category. If you haven’t noticed, Acura’s resurgence is underway, and it started with the TLX Type S, a sport-luxury sedan with four-wheel double wishbones and a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 pumping out 355 horsepower – all for under $55k.
Luckily for us, Acura is debuting the 2022 Acura Integra prototype today, November 11, 2021, at 4:35 p.m. PT. Yes, the vehicle you’ll see in just a few hours time is a prototype model, and it will be on display for everyone to see at the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show from November 19 to 28, 2021.
Acura made no further comments about the production-spec version of its newest Integra. Still, the automaker has revealed a few tidbits to give us an idea of what to expect when the latest Integra arrives at dealerships in mid-2022.
2022 Acura Integra: No Coupe?
The teasing began in early August 2021 when Acura confirmed Integra’s return at Monterey Car Week. Acura claims the new Integra is “a new compact premium entrant” after releasing a teaser image of the prototype’s new headlight design, complete with embossed INTEGRA lettering under the lighting assembly.
The next tease came in late September after Acura unveiled the rear-end design of its Integra prototype. As it turns out, the new car is a four-door sedan with a swooping roofline and a liftback rear hatch. The first-gen Integra came in a three, four, or five-door body style and is the only Integra available as a five-door hatch, and we now know the Integra prototype will carry the same practical liftback design. But what about the two-door coupe?
Acura had a firm grasp in the sport-luxury class upon debuting the third-gen DC1 and DC2 Integra in 1994, a car with all the right ingredients to guarantee heaping doses of driving fun. The Integra came with a four-wheel double wishbone suspension, a reinforced chassis, and a high-strung B18B VTEC four-cylinder engine connected to what purists say is the best manual gearbox ever made.
Moreover, the third-gen Integra is available as a three-door liftback coupe. And when you think about the most iconic vintage Integras, the coupe body style is permanently etched in the memory banks of those old enough to remember the glory days. Does a four-door sedan come to mind when mentioning the legendary DC2 Integra Type R? No!
Acura did not rule out the possible availability of a fifth-gen Integra coupe. However, it will initially appear as a swoopy four-door sedan in prototype guise to better compete with the BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe, Audi A3, and Mercedes-Benz A-Class.
Standard Manual Gearbox
Unlike the TLX Type S, the all-new Acura Integra will get a standard six-speed manual gearbox. If you know anything about cars and the auto industry in general, new vehicles with manually selectable gears are a dying breed. And since sporty compact sedans are the realm of purists and enthusiasts, Acura is making our trip down memory lane extra sweet by giving the Integra a slick-shifting manual transmission, possibly a derivative of the manual box from a 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback.
Of course, Acura wants automatic fans to get in the action, too. The third-gen Integra GS-R had an optional automatic gearbox in some markets when it arrived in 1993. We’re assuming the all-new Integra will get the same treatment, possibly getting an optimized CVT (continuously variable automatic) from the Civic Hatchback LX and EX-L. But then again, it would be better if it got a genuine six or seven-speed automatic instead of a CVT and virtual gears.
Long before turbocharging became the norm, Acura relied on old-school engineering trickery to squeeze out more power from relatively small engines. First seen in the second-gen Integra GS-R, Honda’s B16A VTEC engine churns out 160 horsepower from 1.6-liters of displacement, all without turbocharging or force-feeding the motor with boosted air. The magic happens when VTEC switches to its high-lift profile at 5,500 rpm, coaxing the engine to burn more fuel and air until a heady 8,200 rpm redline.
Acura has yet to reveal the official powertrain specs, but we strongly feel the new Integra will get the same 1.5-liter turbocharged VTEC engine from the 2022 Civic Hatchback, possibly tuned to churn out more horses than its 180-horsepower stock output. For the 2022 Integra, we’re hedging for 200 or 220 horsepower from its turbocharged VTEC mill, but a hotrod Type S version remains in the cards.
Oh, and who wouldn’t want to see a fifth-gen Integra Type R? Honda has already confirmed the all-new Civic Type R’s arrival in late 2022 or early 2023, and it will most likely have the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder VTEC engine of the outgoing Type R.
In an ideal world, it would be great to have a four-door Civic Type R and a two-door Integra Type R, but we can’t always get what we want. As it turns out, we have excellent news: Acura has confirmed that the Integra Type R is joining the lineup by 2024, although it remains unclear if it arrives as a four-door sedan or two-door coupe.
2022 Acura Integra Pricing
Acura’s been on a roll with its concept cars, starting with the Type S Concept from 2019 (now available as the TLX Type S). With the imminent reveal of an all-new Acura Integra prototype, we strongly feel the concept will closely resemble the production version coming in mid-2022. The 2022 Integra replaces the ILX in Acura’s portfolio, so we expect base prices to hover around $28,000 to about $35,000 for the range-topping variant.
That, of course, may not be a detail Acura chooses to share when it reveals the Integra tonight. Instead it may well prefer to save pricing until closer to the car’s release next year. Either way, it’s likely to be a hot topic of discussion in the months to come, as new Integra fans and old discuss whether this 2022 reboot lives up to expectations.